France reports 11 new cases og H5N1 bird flu

France reported 11 new cases of H5N1 bird flu in wild birds today in an area already hit by the lethal virus.

France reported 11 new cases of H5N1 bird flu in wild birds today in an area already hit by the lethal virus.

Laboratory tests detected the virus in a heron, a duck and in nine swans, raising to 29 the total number of cases found among wild birds in the southeastern Ain region, the farming ministry said in a statement.

In response to the new cases, the government was expanding a protection zone to about 300 towns in the area, from about 70 when the first cases of bird flu were confirmed there.

Dozens of countries have banned poultry imports from France after the H5N1 bird flu strain was found on a turkey farm last week in Ain, the first infection of the virus in commercial EU poultry stocks.

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